Old MariposaHistory
Previous to Spanish exploration and colonization, the land which is now called Mariposa County, was peopled by the Miwuk people. Their encampments ranged from the Sierra foothills through the upper reaches of Yosemite National Park where they existed in relative peace until European colonization of the area began.

The first Europeans to explore the land came from the Spanish colony of Mexico.  Those first explorers discovered a creek meandering through a gentle valley and all around it swarmed butterflies.  That intrepid explorer named the place "Arroyo de las Mariposas" which roughly translated means stream of butterflies.  Eventually, the name "Mariposa" stuck.

In 1846, Thomas Larkin, American Council in Monterey, purchased from the Mexican governor the 44,000 acre land grant for his client, John C.Fremont. The Grant, a "floating" land grant, had no specific boundaries which led to shifting property claims. After statehood, Fremont spent six years trying to get the land grant recognized under American laws. In 1856, he received such legitimization but the property boundaries again shifted during this process setting off a flurry of legal actions until resolution was finally achieved.

The "official" formation of Mariposa County occured in 1850 after California achieved statehood. The county originally covered over one-fifth of California. Since that time, all or part of 11 counties have been created earning the county the nickname the "Mother of Counties."

Fun Facts
The name "Mariposa" means "butterfly" in Spanish.

The town of Mariposa is the County seat for the County of Mariposa.

Mariposa is situated roughly in the center of California and is the southern link of the "gold chain" (the name given to the series of foothill towns that experienced the goldrush of the 1800's).

Mariposa lies in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range in California at and elevation of 1,953 feet.

The town of Mariposa has a population of about 1,769 people.

Access to the town is easily attained via Highways 49 and 140. 

Highway 140 (known as the all-season highway because it remains open all year) continues on up to Yosemite National Park.

The County's prime industries now are tourism and agriculture. 

The town of Mariposa lies approximately 40 miles from Yosemite National Park.

The summers in Mariposa are usually warm and dry.  In the town area, the average mean summer temperature is 94o - 96o.

Winters in Mariposa are cool and wet, but severe weather is unusual. The average mean winter temperature in the town area is 32o, while, the average seasonal rainfall is 20-25 inches.  Snow at this elevation averages 1-5 inches.

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